U2 Various Dates
Various Dates: 2000-2009
: Louisiana Superdome - New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Super Bowl XXXVI: U2 Rocked, Britney Spears Fizzled, & Mariah Carey Nailed ItCarrie Borzillo-Vrenna (published on 2002-02-04)
What it lacked in the excitement that several "special guests" ensured for last year's Super Bowl halftime show, U2's performance this year made up for in a sheer, raw rock performance.
The Irish band's set on Sunday (Feb. 3) during Super Bowl XXXVI's E*Trade halftime show featured the heart-shaped staging from the band's latest tour and 2.5 songs ("Beautiful Day" in its entirely and then the beginning of "MLK" into "Where the Streets Have No Name"). The latter song featured the touching backdrop of all of the names of the victims of Sept. 11, which U2 has been doing on tour since the attacks on America.
Unlike many past halftime performances -- such as last year's MTV-produced special featuring Aerosmith, 'NSync, Britney Spears, Mary J. Blige, and Nelly -– this year's was the most concert-like and real performance yet. U2 did a good job of nearly duplicating the look, sound, energy, and feel of its No. 1 tour of the year. The 1,000 or so fans around the stage on the field –- most with glowsticks in hand -– completed the big show feel of the short set. Bono, the consummate frontman, was donned in a jacket lined with the American flag.
Of U2's performance, Paul McCartney (who performed "Freedom" in the pregame show), told the Fox sports desk commentators, "It's great. Fantastic. All the names. Loved it." McCartney also led Terry Bradshaw into a few verses of the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," after which the former football star squealed, "I sang with a Beatle!" It seems McCartney is just as at home at the football desk as he is with a mike in his hand, and he ended the interview with a few more bars of the song with Bradshaw.
McCartney also announced that he plans to start a U.S. tour in April -– his first in 10 years –- followed by a European trek, probably in May. Exact dates have not been announced yet, but are expected shortly.
Despite the fact that record labels aren't exactly fighting over each other to sign Mariah Carey, the singer was beaming with confidence and pride as she nailed her performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Dressed in a simple blue dress with no signs of the stress that put her in the hospital months ago, Carey delivered a perfect performance of our national anthem.
Other pregame festivities included a powerful one-two punch by No Doubt of "Hey Baby" and "Spiderwebs"; a medley of patriotic songs by Barry Manilow, Yolanda Adams, Wynonna, Patti LaBelle, and James Ingram; and a great pairing of Marc Anthony and Mary J. Blige for "America the Beautiful."
As for the much-anticipated new Britney Spears' commercial for Pepsi (the first in a new series), the nostalgic nature of the spot fizzled with most viewers. The commercial puts Spears in outfits and settings from the '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s (including a spoof of Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistible"), and modern times to show Pepsi through the years.
-- Carrie Borzillo-Vrenna
Often plagiarised, never matched.